Introduction: The Wessex NET Group provides a dedicated NET dietitian service to patients across Dorset and Southern Hampshire. Patients receive individualised, evidence based advice by a dietitian with experience in the specific nutritional issues that NET patients experience. A patient questionnaire was implemented to assess the impact of the NET dietitian.
Method: 212 confidential questionnaires were posted to all living patients who had had contact with the NET dietitian from September 2020 to August 2022. Patients were given six weeks to complete and return the questionnaire.
Results: 104 questionnaires were returned, a response rate of 49%. Referrals to the dietitian were made by a NET nurse 49% or a consultant 31%, with the remainder being direct or self-referral. First consultations were two thirds phone and one third face to face, and 94% of the patients felt this was suitable. Over 90% of the patients felt that the NET dietitian was knowledgeable about their condition, put them at ease to talk freely and listened to their concerns and needs. 88% felt the dietitians advice was tailored to them and their lifestyle. 69% of patients agreed or completely agreed that the NET dietitian improved their overall health, 23% were in between and 5% disagreed. The highest physical health improvements were in stool consistency 81%, stool colour 70% and stool frequency 69%. Quality of life was improved in 75% of patients and 65% of the patients felt increased confidence in leaving the house. Sections for qualitative comments were included and over 80% of patients completed a response about what the NET dietitian did particularly well. A few comments were made in response to how the NET dietitian service could be improved.
Conclusion: Overall, results showed the positive impact that a specialist NET dietitian can have on patients physical and mental health and quality of life. The high quality and availability of the NET dietitian service was greatly appreciated by patients. The questionnaire provided some recommendations which can be implemented by the NET dietitian to further improve the role.